THE 10TH ANNUAL FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES
Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories
Flight of the Butterflies, Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories is a lupus awareness campaign sharing stories of the brave lupus warriors. Many don’t understand lupus until they hear the walk of a warrior. Flight of the Butterflies, Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories is dedicated to sharing those stories in May for lupus awareness month.
Flight of the Butterfly Karen Rodriguez
On December 24, 2013 I was diagnosed with lupus after several months of being very ill. This has affected my life in numerous ways. There have been times where it hurt so bad to bend down to put socks on my feet, to get out of bed, or even walk from one place to the next. I’ve lost clumps of hair and dealt with painful sores that surrounded the inside of my mouth. I have had dozens of bizarre rashes. I have fought a fever of 102 for weeks on end. And I’ve had swelling of the lining of my lungs and heart. Although these may sound unpleasant, I am extremely grateful for the medication I’ve been on and the support system that surrounds me.
I thought I was lucky because the first time they ran a blood test to check for Lupus related signs it was after what I now understand to be a horrible flare and the results were so high with one specific test, double stranded DNA, was so high lupus was the only likely cause. I thought I was lucky because that was a fast diagnosis. Now, as I learn more and more about this crazy disease, I look back and realize I suffered from symptoms for years before I became sick enough to run that test. My symptoms, looking back, started with vascular issues, blood clots, anemia, joint pain, hair loss in my 20’s and 30’s but they were intermittent and inconsistent. I had no idea. The horrible flare that led to my diagnosis was over 2 weeks of a fever that stayed at 102 no matter what I did. I had swollen glands all over my neck and under my arms. I had sores in my mouth, headaches, and a fatigue like no other. I kept going to the doctor because nothing would ease the fever. They checked for infection but nothing. I went back again and as I talked to the doctor, she noticed me scratching my hand. I had swollen hives on my hands and feet so bad that it was hard to walk and the itch drove me crazy. Lucky for me that young Air Force doctor had just read an article that made her suspect an autoimmune disease and lucky for me she ordered a full blood work up.
I am grateful that I have not developed some of the more serious organ related symptoms. I try to take care of myself and listen to my body in hopes of avoiding those symptoms as long as I possibly can.
One of the hardest things to make people understand about Lupus is that I fight every day, you just might not see the battle! Also that my battle changes constantly. The battle I fought and won last month is different than the battle I’m fighting today. My normal is that there never is a normal.
Lupus In Color is excited to present Karen’s story to the world. As a Lupus Warrior she is actively promoting lupus awareness and wearing the armor of strength in doing so.
Lupus In Color Salutes Karen. YOU ARE BRAVE, COURAGEOUS, AMAZING and STRONG!
YOUR BUTTERFLY WINGS ARE FLUTTERING, YOUR CHIN IS UP, YOUR ARMS ARE EXTENDED AND YOUR CHEST IS OUT! FLY ON BUTTERFLY!
PLEASE SHARE Karen Rodriguez’s FLIGHT ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES AND START HER BUTTERFLY JOURNEY SPREADING LUPUS AWARENESS!
#LupusInColor #ButterfliesofHope #FlightoftheButterflies #Brave #Courageous #Strong #SpreadLupusAwareness #LupusWarriorStories